Our household has several resolutions for 2021. Even though it seems like we should just mail a few valentines, buy a birthday cake, cook a turkey and keep our tree up and call it a year, I encourage you to stay focused and try to stick to your resolutions! If you need help, I found this article helpful https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/01/health/new-years-resolutions-wellness/index.html.
One resolution was continuing to be sustainable. This takes a mind-shift and a lot of work, but it has already changed our lives for the better when we started on our sustainable journey. It was four years ago. I was sitting at my desk at work organizing my day as usual, when my co-worker rushed by and put a book on my desk. She said, “this book will change your life, read it this weekend.” It was Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I was so confused. I had the tidiest desk at work. I am always organized! She said, “no, Amy, you need to ‘KonMari’ your house. Your life will thank you.” Needless to say, after reading the book and watching the Netflix series, it does change your life. She teaches you to not only declutter, but to organize and appreciate what sparks joy in your life and encourages you to buy less. Her lifestyle of minimalism is just one way you can practice sustainability and I highly encourage you take a look for yourself! https://shop.konmari.com/collections/holiday-gift-guide?gclid=Cj0KCQiA8dH-BRD_ARIsAC24umaEUx_kvOHLtcewS2kbjTQnH1k-U3XmvWL1V_Qwdg3ZU2qW3aes-j0aAkKPEALw_wcB. Here are some other book suggestions to go zero waste in 2021: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/zero-waste-living-books?utm_source=Green+Matters&utm_campaign=99b741f254-weekly11282018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0cc8a36e46-99b741f254-96350395.
Before making a purchase, smart shoppers stop and think: Is there a better alternative? Do I need this? Or, do I need this much? Practicing this method helps you buy less and helps you reevaluate what is important to lead a more stress-free lifestyle! PlasticFreeJuly https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ is a great resource and blog that provides tips on how you can live a more plastic free life. You can, “take the challenge” and pledge to go plastic free for a month and share your struggles and what you learned along the way.
My beloved store in Denver, JoyFill https://www.joyfill.co/, was my go-to store to practice sustainability at home. The philosophy is to stop the cycle of buying plastic. Refill the bottles that you have (shampoo, laundry detergent, lotion) with their bulk products! While I will always practice recycling, most intended plastic to be recycled, end up in the landfills. One solution: buy less plastic! On the farm, where there is no trash, recycling or compost pick up, you have to educate yourself and be more mindful with your purchases at the store. We tend to purchase more items in glass because of its numerous uses of recycling. Take notice the next time you walk through the grocery store. Notice if most items, if not all, are in plastic. Can you make a swap for something more eco-friendly? Could you make it at home instead of buying it? Do I need to buy more wrapping paper or can I use leftover fabric or newspaper instead? These small changes really add up! It is less “stuff” in your home, and therefore “less stress” in your home!
My advice is to start with one area of the house and move through rooms one at a time. Personally, I started with the kitchen and made swaps for items when they would run out. For example, when we were out of paper towels, I purchased Swedish dish clothes and linens. Then I moved on to other rooms of the house. This was an easy way to start eliminating waste in our home. My favorite zero waste household items can be found here: https://earthhero.com/product-category/sustainable-essentials/. I especially love Plaine Products out of Boulder, CO! They send everything in aluminum containers that can be sent back to be reused. https://earthhero.com/products/beauty-care/plaine-products-plaine-products-refillable-vegan-shampoo-conditioner-set-16oz/.
Once you have completed the KonMari method with the items in your home, and have gone through each room and made eco-friendly and sustainable changes, you start to notice how much more “free” you feel. I can’t tell you the number of times babysitters would come to our home and mention, “your house feels so calm,” or “I felt relaxed all night, how do you make your home so relaxing?” The answer mostly lies with having less stuff, but it also means having non-toxic items in the home. For example, we only clean with vinegar, and baking soda. We don’t buy Clorox Wipes (and we were free of the “C-word” all this year!) or other toxic cleaning supplies. Just simple ingredients!
Another way we stay relaxed and chemical free at home is with the help of Young Living Essential Oils. From diffusing essential oils in the morning to start our day off fresh, to cleaning our entire home with products free of toxins, to purifying the air we breathe in, we are experiencing a relaxed and stress-free environment in our home. It’s making all the difference to achieving our ultimate relaxed and zen home, all while staying healthy and well. I’ve got a good friend from college who I get all of my oily goodness from. Check out Megan’s website: https://oilupomaha.com. She would love to help you achieve this ultimate relaxed home, free from toxins, too.
I can’t wait to hear from you! Which of these methods will you be adding to your clean routine in the New Year?